Go ahead given for replacement BMX track in Ipswich park
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
Proposals for a fresh BMX track and new clubhouse in Landseer Park have been given the go-ahead by planners after years of fundraising by dedicated volunteers.
Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee gave unanimous approval on Wednesday morning to replace the aging current track with a brand new facility, and bolster facilities with a clubhouse providing much needed toilets, coaching and meeting space.
Councillors said they hoped the track, which is the only one in Suffolk, will once again become the envy of the rest of the country as it was when it was first established in the early 1980s.
Tracey Reeve, secretary of Ipswich BMX Club, which is the oldest club of its kind in the country having been in Landseer Park for 41 years, said: "Here we are, still strong 41 years later. We are now looking to rebuild the track which is currently beyond repair.
"This project is all about the people - whether a social rider who wants to exercise, or a family outing, or if you want to become competitive and represent Ipswich in the world BMX championships.
"This will be a great facility that will have a positive impact in this area of high deprivation.
"We have had so much support from the community, and hope to put in place a facility for all for many years to come."
The club and its volunteers have worked hard over the last two years to raise more than £300,000 for the rebuild, while Ipswich Borough Council has also supported the club with a £40,000 grant.
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No objections to the plans were received.
Planning officer Jason Burgess said the track, built in 1983 on former landfill, has "hosted various national and European events over its time, however the current track is becoming unsuitable - there is a lack of drainage and it has become dangerous as a result and unusable."
Councillor Phil Smart said: "This is an application that is not just going to be good for the BMX club itself but also the town as well.
"When it began it was something that was the envy of the rest of the country because it was a facility considered at the time to be pioneering.
"Now what's happened is other BMX tracks in other parts of the country have come along since and they have been more modern in their facilities.
"The time for putting this facility back at the top where is can once again be the envy of other regions is long overdue."